Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kalé fended off a Palmer High School comeback as long as it could before succumbing to the Moose.
After taking the first set, JDHS lost three sets in a row in a 3-1 (20-25, 25-17, 25-11, 25-17) loss Friday morning at the volleyball state championships. The loss knocked JDHS out of the double elimination tournament, being held at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage.
“They had moments where they played really, really well — the first game especially — and then they had some moments where they didn’t play so well,” JDHS coach Jody Levernier said. “They just didn’t play consistent all the way through.”
JDHS lost 3-0 to state powerhouse South Anchorage on Thursday in the first round.
The Crimson Bears joined the North Pole Patriots as the first two teams to exit the tournament as six teams — JDHS, North Pole, Palmer, Wasilla, Soldotna and Bartlett — started the day in the loser’s bracket. South Anchorage and Dimond are set to face off in the winner’s bracket at 5:15 p.m. Friday with a trip to the finals on the line.
Up 1-0, the Crimson Bears fell behind midway through the second set. Junior Talia Villnerve started to heat up for the Moose, firing the ball over the net for numerous points. After tying the match at 1-1, the Moose quickly led 10-0 in the second set as senior Kelsey Giese recorded several aces.
“They just kind of got in a little rut,” Levernier said of the start to the third set. “They made a mistake, and then they made another mistake, and sometimes they have a hard time getting out of that.”
The Crimson Bears raced out to an 11-5 lead in the fourth set. But the Moose responded with a big 16-3 run to advance. Palmer would go on to lose its next game though against Soldotna.
Junior Jojo Griggs had seven kills and 10 digs in the loss. Senior Addie Prussing finished with five aces, three of which came in the first set. Prussing, one of just two seniors on the squad along with Abby Dean, was named Player of the Game.
JDHS finishes the year with an 11-9 record in best-of-five matches.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.